This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.
You know, it’s going to be a long time until I retire. I think about my future, and right now if I keep going on at the rate I’m saving, I will hopefully be able to retire in 18.5 years, at the age of 50. I’m 31 as of this writing, so you can imagine, that’s a lot of years in a cube for someone who is sort of obsessed with financial independence and early retirement.
A lot of Mondays. A lot of meetings. A lot of repetition. Christmases, New Years, birthdays, if I’m lucky enough to get more of those, that is. I’ve decided that just because I’m on the slog towards financial freedom, that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit idly by and let life happen to me. How will I make the most of these days? How can I approach my adulting years with the wonder of my younger years?
Enter, the Wonder Quest.
Wonder Quests are going to be things I challenge myself to do. Some will be a bucket list item, others will be a process or challenge to explore. Some will be 30 days, some might be a weekend.
I think of all the things I tell myself I cannot do- I cannot run a marathon, I cannot stop shopping, I simply cannot say no to a piece of cake that’s put in front of me and I sure as hell cannot say no to a glass of wine when it’s offered to me (and even when it’s not…but I know it’s there.) When you were a kid, you were free to be weird, fail, experiment and nobody told you no.
You know who tells me no all the time now? ME. I need to knock that off.
So, this is my first Wonder Quest. So, why Whole30?
Beyond the fact that I have almost n0 willpower when it comes to dairy, bread and booze- I recently had a wee bit of a health scare that I think is worth addressing.
I’ve got muscles aches and joint pain, brain fog and fatigue. Several weeks ago, I was in Chicago for a friend’s wedding and it was all so bad, I literally slept for 9+ hours and still fell asleep on my friend’s floor, twice, after running errands. I was like “Oh, I’ll just lay here because the sheets are in the washer” and I was OUT. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. ON THE FLOOR. I felt like I was getting the flu, but I never got sick.
I went to the doctor and my thryoid test came back abnormal. How fun. We get to re-test in a month to find out if it was just a blip, or, if something is really up and I need to go on medications. Likely, I will need to go on medications- but it made me feel out of control with my health. It made me feel out of control with a lot of things, including the fact that I kept telling myself feeling this sick had to be normal. I simply wasn’t listening to anything my body was trying to tell me- for years.
I have never had to deal with a potential chronic illness. I am shook.
So What Is Whole30?
Basically, it is known as an elimination program. (Grab the book here!) You don’t eat grains, dairy, added sugar, alcohol or legumes. So, basically everything. Everything but animal protein and vegetables (except peas). No hummus, no cheese, no corn anything (which is like, everything) and also, sugar is hiding in everything. It’s a lot of meal preppin’ and scratch cooking.
The goal is to reset your system from running on sugar to running on fat. After 30 days, you slowly integrate things back into your diet- soy, dairy, and whatever else, back into your diet one by one to figure out if one of them was making you not feel great. It’s not for weight loss, it’s to figure out what makes you tick and what makes you sick. Your boyfriend may be cool with soy, you may not be. You have no way of knowing until you eliminate and test.
That’s what I need, but I know it’s going to be hard as hell.
So, Why Am I Doing Whole30?
After these test results came back, I realized I needed to think about what was going into my body and also, really paying attention to how I feel. Do I Think Whole30 has magical powers that will fix my out-of-whack thyroid? No.
But what I will say is that my doctor did not ask how I was eating. She didn’t ask about my sleep or stress levels. She didn’t ask if I have had an allergy test. It could turn out that nothing I eat has anything to do with my thyroid malfunction, but shouldn’t we look at that too?
I heard about this crazy “dairy and alcohol free misery-diet” and while I’m not keen on it- if my thyroid is going to be the new jerk in town, what can I control to feel better? Or at least not piss off the jerk more than I have been? My doctor didn’t discuss any of this, but being the adventurous type- what could a little self-exploration hurt?
Plus, I also sort of want to see if I can do it. If I’m being honest, I don’t know if I can make it 30 days. In the same way I have some weird twisted desire to run a marathon for charity- I know I won’t be able to do it easily, but I still want to say I did it.
Slow, chubby and beleagured steps and all, I can say my genetically indisposed ass did it. I WANT TO SAY I DID IT, Y’ALL.